Mike's Easebourne chocolate business is commended
Petworth House has played host to inspirational community champions at the Sussex Countryside Awards.
Organised by CPRE Sussex – the Sussex branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, the awards celebrated projects working to protect, conserve and improve the Sussex countryside.
“It is exactly the sort of thing we want to support,” said Lord Egremont, who is also president of the Sussex branch of the CPRE.
“I have been involved in the CPRE for a long time now and it is a cause very dear to my heart.”
Lord Egremont said he heard about some of the finalists from his wife and head judge Lady Egremont but had managed to keep tight lipped about the winners.
Lady Egremont, who travelled the length and breadth of Sussex as a judge, praised the ‘extraordinary series of exciting projects’.
She regaled the audience with tales of sat navs with a ‘mind of their own’ and seagulls stealing her breakfast during a trip to Rye.
Noble and Stace Chocolatiers, in Easebourne, was commended in the Rural Enterprise category.
Mike Noble started making high-quality chocolates by hand in a converted garage next to his home two years ago. He now supplies businesses including the Spread Eagle Hotel in Midhurst and Cowdray House.
“This inspirational small, niche business works with a variety of local producers to incorporate their products into his own,” said judge Margaret Moore.
Speaking at the awards, Mike said: “It is quite amazing really. It is a bit surreal to be at Petworth House having visited in the past as a National Trust member.
“It is a stunning location.”
The Seaman Partnership was highly commended in the Making Places Design category for its Courtlea housing development in Petworth, in partnership with Seaward Properties.
“We are very pleased to be involved in the awards,” said managing director David Seaman.
“It is rare that you get a site that is centrally placed in such a small community as Petworth, a lovely small town which is also in a rural environment.
“We demolished and rebuilt a site that had been a slightly rundown 60s care home and turned it into appropriate living accommodation.
“We are delighted that has been recognised.”
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